Philosophical Studies

, Volume 174, Issue 10, pp 2417–2433 | Cite as

Realism and social structure

  • Elizabeth BarnesEmail author


Social constructionism is often considered a form of anti-realism. But in contemporary feminist philosophy, an increasing number of philosophers defend views that are well-described as both realist and social constructionist. In this paper, I use the work of Sally Haslanger as an example of realist social constructionism. I argue: (i) that Haslanger is best interpreted as defending metaphysical realism about social structures; (ii) that this type of metaphysical realism about the social world presents challenges to some popular ways of understanding metaphysical realism.


Gender Realism Social construction Metaphysical realism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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